Perceived walking difficulties in Parkinson’s disease – predictors and changes over time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have described their walking difficulties as linked to activity avoidance, social isolation, reduced independence and quality of life. There is a knowledge gap regarding predictive factors of perceived walking difficulties in people with PD. Such knowledge could be useful when designing intervention studies. This study aimed to investigate how perceived walking difficulties evolve over a 3-year period in people with PD. A specific aim was to identify predictive factors of perceived walking difficulties. Methods: One hundred forty-eight people with PD (mean age 67.9 years) completed the Generic Walk-12 (Walk-12G) questionnaire (which assesses perceived walking difficulties) at both baseline and the 3-year follow-up. Paired samples t-test was used for comparing baseline and follow-up mean scores. Multivariable linear regression analyses were used to identify predictive factors of perceived walking difficulties. Results: Perceived walking difficulties increased after 3 years: mean Walk-12G score 14.8 versus 18.7, p < 0.001. Concerns about falling was the strongest predictor (β = 0.445) of perceived walking difficulties, followed by perceived balance problems while dual tasking (β = 0.268) and pain (β = 0.153). Perceived balance problems while dual tasking was the strongest predictor (β = 0.180) of a change in perceived walking difficulties, followed by global cognitive functioning (β = − 0.107). Conclusions: Perceived walking difficulties increase over time in people with PD. Both personal factors (i.e. concerns about falling) and motor aspects (i.e. balance problems while dual tasking) seem to have a predictive role. Importantly, our study indicates that also non-motor symptoms (e.g. pain and cognitive functioning) seem to be of importance for future perceived walking difficulties. Future intervention studies that address these factors need to confirm their preventative effect on perceived walking difficulties.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geriatrics
  • Neurology


  • Mobility limitation, Multivariable regression, Parkinson disease, Perceived walking difficulties, Prediction
Original languageEnglish
Article number221
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec
Publication categoryResearch